Alaska News Nightly: February 19, 2008

Exxon Mobil wants back in at Point Thomson. Meanwhile, Senator Stevens urges action on the gasline. Plus, Lance Mackey and Ken Anderson go head to head in final 100 miles of the Yukon Quest. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Exxon Mobil announces plans for Point Thomson
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The Point Thomson unit is one of the North Slopes largest untapped gas fields. The Frank Murkowski administration re-claimed the state’s leases in 2006 because they had never been developed. In an announcement late this afternoon, Exxon says it has submitted a plan to the state to develop the field through a phased approach – with production to begin there by 2014.

Senator Stevens tells legislature the time to act on a gasline is now.
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau and Rosemarie Alexander, KtOO – Juneau
Stevens says the US Congress took the first steps in developing a line from the North Slope in 2004 when it passed the Alaska Gas Pipeline Act. But he says now, liquefied gas is filling the void in the nation’s pipelines – and that in seven years, that will provide forty percent of the gas America consumes. He says Billions of dollars are being invested now to make use of that resource. And new exploration is finding gas in great quantities:

Don Young not a big fan of John McCain

Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
Congressman Don Young took aim at the presumptive Republican candidate for president during a visit to Ketchikan Monday

The challenge of broadband for the bush

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The problem of high speed internet access was explored at an Anchorage workshop last Friday. The University of Alaska and the Institute of the North brought together the state’s communications providers and Alaska consumers to look at what is available, the logistical problems with broadband access in remote communities and what’s being done in other states.

Deformed Kodiak deer worry hunters

Casey Kelly, KMXT – Kodiak
Hunters in Kodiak are ringing the alarm bell regarding deformed male deer on the south end of the island. Hunter Tom Dooley urged the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly to pass a resolution in support of a state study on bucks who are increasingly turning up with un-descended testes

Bear control gets broad support in Sitka
Leah Mann, KCAW – Sitka
A proposed neighborhood bear ordinance received a favorable reaction from the public at its unveiling last week. Local, state, and federal agencies believe the time is right to try and control the number of bear fatalities in Sitka

Mackey and Anderson race for the finish in Yukon Quest
Dan Bross, KUAC – Braeburn, Yukon and Libby Casey, KUAC – Fairbanks
Lance Mackey and Ken Anderson are racing to the finish line in the Yukon Quest.  Defending champion Mackey had a slight lead over Anderson when the two left the last checkpoint of Braeburn this afternoon.  After a mandatory 8 hour rest, Mackey’s 11 dog team left at 1:53 Yukon time.  Rookie Ken Anderson left just 19 minutes later, with just eight dogs in harness.  It’s 100 miles from  Braeburn to the Whitehorse finish line

Distant Westminster dog show captivates dog lovers in Barrow
Earl Finkler, KBRW – Barrow
The 132nd annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show took place last week in New York City.  It was a very popular television attraction both nights – leading up to the selection of a 15-inch beagle named “Uno” as best in show. Its the first time a beagle has ever been so honored. Commentator Earl Finkler of Barrow and his wife Chris hunkered down with their two Greenland huskies both chilly nights to watch the competition: